BC Provincial Sales Tax on Photography and Videography

I mentioned back in November 2017 that we are in the process of setting up a business. The business will incorporate photography, videography, and audio-only services. Let’s take a look at how you are supposed to apply provincial sales tax.

Photography

For photography, PST must be charged to customers for tangible goods (items you provide in physical form) you give to them. The most relevant examples that would apply to our circumstances would be digital photos on a storage medium (e.g. USB drive, memory card, CD or DVD).

With photography, you don’t charge PST unless a tangible good is sold.

If a tangible good is optional, you only need to charge PST on the tangible goods you sell and not for the photography services. This is because the photography services do not form part of the purchase price of the tangible goods as the customer is under no obligation to purchase the goods.

Videography

For videography, you can avoid charging PST only if these 2 conditions are met:

  • You produced the video specifically for your customer under a contract with that customer, and
  • Your customer does not obtain the video, or copies of the video, in a tangible format.

So, unless you are going to be providing a copy of the video to your customer strictly over the internet, via something like Dropbox or Google Drive, you must charge PST.

Audio

I haven’t found anything specifically on audio recordings, so I think to be safe, it would be wise to follow the rules surrounding videography.

Sources

BC Government PST Bulletin 126 (Photography & Videography)

BC Government PST Bulletin 107 (Telecommunications – page 15)